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The Country Side Of Elvis Presley


Elvis Presely Autographed Photo to Irving Berlin
Getty Images

Thursday, August 16, 2012 will mark 35 years since we lost Elvis Presley in 1977, at the age of 42.  As we prepare to produce another edition of GNA’s Sunday Morning Hall of Fame, many people question why we would feature Elvis on a country station.  But, did you know Elvis started in Country Music and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame?

Although Elvis was known as the King of Rock and Roll, he scored his first successes on the Billboard Country Music charts.  First, with his debut single ‘Baby Let’s Play House,’ which hit No. 5, and then his first No. 1 hit on any chart, ‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’ in 1955.  Throughout the ’50s he continued to dominate both charts, with songs like ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘All Shook Up’ simultaneously topping the Country and Pop charts.  Along the way he also recorded some exclusive Country albums with great success.  Then, towards the end of his life, he returned to the Country charts for his final chart toppers, including 1976’s ‘Moody Blue,’ 1977’s ‘Way Down,’ and 1981’s ‘Guitar Man.’  Of course the ‘King’ was also successful at any genre of music, including starring roles in 33 movies.

In 1998, The Country Music industry acknowledged his contributions to the genre by inducting him into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Much like crossover stars today like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kid Rock, Rascal Flatts, and Keith Urban- Elvis Presley could do it all and represent Country Music with great pride along the way.

Watch Elvis sing his No. 1 Country and Pop hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

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